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ERIC Number: EJ867815
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Pages: 19
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1060-9393
The Cultural Preferences of Today's Russian College Students
Andreev, A. L.
Russian Education and Society, v51 n9 p51-69 Sep 2009
Education rests on the foundation of culture in the broadest sense of that word. How deeply and solidly that foundation has been laid down determines the size and solidity of the building that can be constructed on it. This applies in particular to higher education, which is by no means designed solely to offer just a body of specialized knowledge, but also to enable the individual to rise to a higher level of intellectual development and acquire a sufficiently broad intellectual horizon and a set of complex social skills. From the standpoint of the characteristics of the Russian potential for development, it is of predictive value to make a cultural diagnosis of the most educated and modernized portion of young people, who in the very near future will take key positions in various spheres of the intellectual activity and life of society as a whole. Such a cultural diagnosis, in the form of a sociological monitoring survey, was carried out by the Laboratory of Sociological Research of the Moscow Institute of Power Engineering. Diagnostic studies were conducted in 1999, 2002, and 2006, devoted to the investigation of the cultural orientations and the cultural practices of students enrolled in the leading higher educational institutions of Moscow. The survey showed that in the minds of young people today, culture and "culturedness" are associated with a special style of (social) interaction. Essentially, this is interpreted as a specific means of regulating interpersonal relations and as a set of the qualities that are necessary to exercise that regulation: tact, courtesy, tolerance, empathy, and so on. All these qualities were listed among the basic features of culture ("culturedness") by over half the respondents. Next (30 percent and up) was the connection between culture and level of intellectual development, including the ability to think independently and critically. Only for a relatively small portion of the sample did the concept of culture incorporate aspects such as creative endeavor, acquisition of knowledge and a broad intellectual horizon, and the acquisition of various kinds of knowledge--not just professional knowledge, but also knowledge related to the achievements of world culture. Also relatively weak was a meaningful link between culture and self-development, self-education (less than 20 percent). This means that in the minds of young people in college, culture is to a large extent separate from factors that drive the development of society, including the human component of that development. (Contains 3 tables and 1 note.) [This article was translated by Kim Braithwaite.]
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Russia